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OCTOBER NEWSLETTER
 

Welcome to Elyzium Advisor - a regular bulletin from Elyzium, the UK’s leading Workload Automation experts.

 
 
"Elyzium Advisor" aims to inform and educate our readers, by providing a regular roundup of the latest Workload Automation, IBM and Elyzium news. In this issue, we share and discuss the results of our market research into Workload Automation, let you know details of the scheduling track at the next UK Tivoli User Group, invite you to try our new XpertCare Notification Service demo, and provide important information about SAP and Shellshock that could impact TWS.
 
 
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HOT TOPIC
 
THE STATE OF WORKLOAD AUTOMATION IN 2014

Elyzium's market research into scheduling, Workload Automation and the Cloud has now been completed, with some interesting results.
 
 
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Workload Automation solutions have been around for some time now, with both the technical and business benefits being well documented and understood. Yet despite this, many organisations still have multiple scheduling tools in place, and a batch scheduling infrastructure that continually grows in complexity, with ever more resource required to manage it.

At Elyzium we were keen to understand current customer use of Workload Automation, what the common prohibitive factors to moving to a centralised solution are, and whether organisations are ready to move such a critical responsibility of the IT function to the Cloud. To do this, we asked key organisations to complete a short survey. Thank you to all our readers that participated!

The results are now in, and you can download the resulting discussion paper here.

The key findings from the survey can be summarised as follows:

  1. 70% of organisations have a goal to increase IT efficiency, and most view automation as a way to reach this goal.
  2. Use of multiple scheduling tools can lead to an array of issues - from continual errors and inefficient use of resources, to the inability to accurately report and the high costs complexity brings.
  3. The use of free scheduling tools is a false economy given the nature of today’s interconnected, cross-dependent applications.
  4. A consolidated Workload Automation solution provides easy, cost-effect and centralised control and yet many organisations still perceive it to be expensive, risky and near on impossible.
  5. Cloud-based Workload Automation offers significant benefits, most notably huge reductions in capex, but despite this SaaS solutions still suffer from incorrect perceptions of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt).

The whitepaper discusses all of these factors and more, the reasoning behind each, and the best ways to address concerns and combat issues relating to your Workload Automation environment. It will also provide you with an opportunity to benchmark your company’s use of scheduling tools and Workload Automation solutions against peers.

If you have any questions or would like further information, then please do not hesitate to contact us

 
 
 
 
 
BREAKING NEWS
 
UK TIVOLI USER GROUP MEETING IN NOVEMBER

The next Tivoli User Group on 13th November 2014 includes a dedicated track for Scheduling and Workload Automation.
 
 

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As part of the official Tivoli User Community, the UK Tivoli User Group provides a forum for Tivoli customers to collaborate with other customers, and Tivoli themselves, on all aspects of Tivoli software. The next meeting takes place at IBM’s Southbank offices on the 13th November, and Elyzium is pleased to be involved with the event’s scheduling and workload automation track.

The event will provide you with an opportunity not only to network with your peers, but also to hear and learn from IBM and Elyzium experts alike, about all things TWS; from best practice upgrade and migration methods, to future roadmaps and example client implementations. The event is free, and in addition to the TWS track, there will be sessions covering all aspects of the Tivoli Software portfolio including storage, endpoint management and monitoring. Delegates can choose sessions from as many tracks as they like to tailor the day to their requirements.

The scheduling and workload automation track has been put together following user input, so thank you to all of you who told us what you’d like to see covered. To view the full agenda and register, please visit the Tivoli User Community website.

If you need any further information or have any questions then please don’t hesitate to ask.

 
 
 
 
 
ELYZIUM UPDATE
 
XPERTCARE NOTIFICATION SERVICE DEMO NOW AVAILABLE

In September we told you about XNS; Elyzium's advanced, interactive, and Cloud-based notification solution for use with Tivoli Workload Scheduler and other Tivoli management software. Now there is a demo available so you can see how it works for yourself.
 
 

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The Xpertcare Notification Service (XNS) adds an additional safety net to the monitoring and alerting process for your Tivoli Software, resulting in significant “mean time to fix” reductions. Designed specifically to interpret event information taken directly from Tivoli Workload Scheduler (or any other Tivoli application) in real-time, XNS evaluates the information against a set of pre-defined rules, to dynamically contact the mobile devices of the people that need to know via voice and/or text alerts. Recipients are then not only able to acknowledge receipt of the message, but additionally execute recovery and fix procedures directly from their mobile device.

XNS is a low cost “pay as you go” Cloud-based service that is quick and easy to deploy, fully customisable, completely secure and easily scaled, hence delivering a rapid ROI for your organisation. Plus, there is now a quick demo available to allow you to see how it works for yourself! To access the demo, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Call +44 (0)1706 304019 from any device capable of receiving SMS messages
  2. Follow the instructions

It really is that simple and will only take a few minutes. You can also visit our website to learn more about XNS, and of course we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have, just give us a call or drop us a line.

 
 
 
 
 
TWS INTELLIGENCE
 
IMPORTANT INFO RE SHELLSHOCK AND TWS FOR SAP APPLICATIONS

Read on for details of a SAP announcement that requires TWS users to take action, and to learn what you need to do to stop the “Shellshock” bug impacting your TWS environment.
 
 

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SAP ANNOUNCES END OF SUPPORT DATE FOR THE CLASSICAL RFC LIBRARY

On a recent product update call with IBM, we were informed of an important change to TWS4APPS (SAP) which affects all customers. SAP has announced the end of support (EoS) date for Classical RFC Libraries, which are used as the transport connection by TWS4APPS (SAP), as being the 31st March 2016. Of course it won’t just stop working after this date, however if you want your SAP support to continue then an upgrade to the SAP NetWeaver RFC Library will be required before the EoS date.

So what does that mean for TWS4APPS? Well, given that TWS4APPS uses the Classical RFC Library (librfc32) to communicate with SAP, an upgrade to a later release will be required. We are seeking clarification from IBM as to the recommended path to address this change, and will communicate this to you as soon as possible. Additionally, IBM will need to secure certification for TWS4APPS to use the SAP NetWeaver RFC Library, so expect an official announcement from them in the near future.

You can view the official notice from SAP at:
http://scn.sap.com/community/icc/blog/2012/08/15/support-for-classic-rfc-library-ends-march-2016

The two versions of the RFC API are characterised by their different functionality:

Classical RFC API (ASCII or Unicode version):

  1. Support of the classical RFC protocol only
  2. No dynamic meta data retrieval
  3. Not free of redundant functions
  4. The ASCII version supports the SAPGUI protocol

SAP NetWeaver RFC API contains a restructured set of functions and thus offers extended functionality:

  1. Dynamic meta data retrieval
  2. Support of all SAP single code pages
  3. Support of the classical RFC protocol and a new binary protocol (basXML) that allows a considerable reduction of data volume when using complex parameter types
  4. No redundant functions
  5. Supports SAPGUI protocol and start of SAPGUI
  6. Does not support communication between two external systems

SAP recommend the use of the NetWeaver RFC API over the Classical RFC API due to its functional and performance enhancements, which is why they have announced this EoS date. We recommend you start planning now. For further information and questions please contact Probal Sil at Elyzium.

SHELLSHOCK – WHAT TWS USERS NEED TO KNOW

Shellshock, also known as Bashdoor, is a family of security bugs in the widely used Unix Bash shell. Many Internet daemons, such as web servers, use Bash to process certain commands, allowing an attacker to cause vulnerable versions of Bash to execute arbitrary commands and gain unauthorised access to systems.

The bugs have been assigned CVE identifiers identifiers CVE-2014-6271 & CVE-2014-7169, and whilst TWS isn’t vulnerable to them as shipped out-of-the-box, IBM still highly recommends that you perform an urgent upgrade of Bash to account for the scenarios where TWS is using it.
Please read the IBM Security Bulletin for further information, and if you have any questions or concerns we’d be happy to advise.

 
 
 
 
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HAVE YOUR SAY IN OUR NEXT NEWSLETTER...
 
 
 
 
 
We want to make Elyzium Advisor as informative and interesting to our readers as possible, which is where you come in! Maybe you have a burning question about TWS or Workload Automation in general that you would like our experts to answer? Perhaps you’d like to benchmark your organisations use of Workload Automation tools against your peers? Or could you even be a budding subject matter expert that wants to write an opinion piece? Well here’s your chance! To contribute your ideas for future issues of Elyzium Advisor please drop us a line. So what are you waiting for?
 
 
 
 
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